Last year, the New York Jets followed up a victory over the New England Patriots with a convincing 34-13 victory over the previously undefeated Tennessee Titans. The Jets were flying high with many of the experts picking them to win the Super Bowl. At that point, it was universally accepted that New York was one of the top teams in the NFL and you would get few arguments from anyone, if you credited a certain ex-Packer QB with making the difference.
Then came week 13 against the Denver Broncos. This time it was the Jets who were beaten convincingly in a 34-17 loss, featuring two turnovers by Brett Favre. They would go on to lose four of their final five games and miss the playoffs entirely. What's more, during that stretch Favre threw nine interceptions and only two touchdowns.
So, is it just a coincidence that Brett Favre fell apart again in week 13 this season? Or is it a dark omen for the Vikings? Favre had been playing much better than he ever did in New York. In fact up to this point, he was having the best season of his career. However, this game would easily rank as one of the worst of his long career. He easily could have thrown four interceptions instead of the two he did throw. At times, he seemed completely confused and missed open receivers.
Undoubtedly, there is much blame to go around for this loss. Offensively, the lack of a running game and the uncharacteristically leaky pass protection that left Favre exposed to opposing pass rushers for the first time this season. On defense, a defensive backfield that has been suspect all season (I predicted this would be a big test for them during my picks) and a D-line that couldn't get any pressure for the first time this season. All of them played a part in this loss much like they played a part in Minnesota's great start.
Maybe this was just an off night or a case of the Vikings' weak schedule finally catching up to them. On the other hand, is this a case of deja vu (all over again) and that oh so unlucky number thirteen again? Do the Vikings have reason to develop a case of triskaidekaphobia?
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